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Medications and you 


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One of the challenges with type 2 diabetes can be the number of medications that you have to take. You may be taking two or three for your diabetes, along with blood pressure tablets, statins for cholesterol and medicines for any other conditions.


Remembering to take your medications at the right time every day can be difficult, especially because you can't tell straight away that you've missed a dose.


You may wonder why you're taking all the medications, and whether they're helping.


Taking your medications may help you live a longer, healthier life with fewer diabetes complications. It may give you more independence for longer and help you keep doing the things you love. So, finding ways to remember to take your medications could make a real difference. 


It helps to understand what the medicines do, which is why we've provided this link to more information about insulinother diabetes medications and medicines that help or prevent heart problems. Or you can discuss any concerns you have with your healthcare team.


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If you find yourself missing doses, here are some ways to help you take your medication on time:

  1. Use a pill box or dosset box. Having your medication in a box with compartments for each day is a great visual reminder of whether you've taken a dose or not. You can do this yourself or ask your pharmacist to set this up.
  2. Set up reminders on your phone or email. Options include Google/Apple calendar, Microsoft Outlook or apps such as Microsoft To Do.
  3. Combine with a daily task. Tie taking your medication with an activity you do every day like making coffee or brushing your teeth. Some people put notes on the bathroom mirror.
  4. Create a daily self-care habit. Try carving out a few minutes each day to look after yourself. This might include enjoying a hot drink, meditating, stretching and taking your medication.
  5. Set an alarm. This can be helpful if dosing times are really important (like insulin).
  6. Break out of autopilot. Make a point of noticing when you take the medication e.g. "This is Tuesday morning's dose". This helps you remember you've taken it.
  7. Keep it visible. The opposite of "out of sight, out of mind."
  8. Get help from loved ones. Get some support from a non-judgemental person who will help remind you.

Going on medication isn't a one-way journey. Many people have managed to achieve remission and come off diabetes medication. Watch Surinder's inspiring story or watch our remission videos.


"I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 7 years ago and struggled to make the changes I needed to make. I joined the REWIND programme and have lost 35kg over the first 3 months…Before the programme, I was taking 7 medications a day for my diabetes and associated blood pressure problems and now I no longer need to take any medication for diabetes and only one for blood pressure. I now have more energy and no longer feel as tired as I did." *


* Please note that the REWIND programme is no longer accepting new referrals. To find out what is available in your area visit Weight loss programmes | Know Diabetes

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Read more about different types of diabetes medications.

If you're on insulin or GLP-1 medication (non-insulin injections) and want to freshen up on your injection technique, watch this short animated video.

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